Assessing the Impact of Common Method Variance on Higher Order Multidimensional Constructs

Russell E. Johnson, Michigan State University
Christopher C. Rosen, Sam M. Walton College of Business
Emilija Djurdjevic, Sam M. Walton College of Business


Researchers are often concerned with common method variance (CMV) in cases where it is believed to bias relationships of predictors with criteria. However, CMV may also bias relationships within sets of predictors; this is cause for concern, given the rising popularity of higher order multidimensional constructs. The authors examined the extent to which CMV inflates interrelationships among indicators of higher order constructs and the relationships of those constructs with criteria. To do so, they examined core self-evaluation, a higher order construct comprising self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, emotional stability, and locus of control. Across 2 studies, the authors systematically applied statistical (Study 1) and procedural (Study 2) CMV remedies to core self-evaluation data collected from multiple samples. Results revealed that the nature of the higher order construct and its relationship with job satisfaction were altered when the CMV remedies were applied. Implications of these findings for higher order constructs are discussed. © 2010 American Psychological Association.